Easy to make, affordable and super effective, this DIY homemade face scrub is suitable for all skin types, though it works particularly well on acne-prone, oily skin. With just six ingredients, most of which you likely already have in your pantry, this exfoliating face scrub is a keeper!
This was originally published in February 2018 and has been updated in October 2022 to reflect new information and supportive content. Also note, this post is sponsored by Redmond but all thoughts and opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make it possible for Root + Revel to provide free content and healthy living inspiration.
Alright, you asked for it, so here it is!
A DIY, Homemade Face Scrub is easily the most requested DIY beauty recipe we get emailed about.
We're so excited to share this with you–not only is this recipe beyond easy (just six ingredients, most of which you likely already have in your pantry!), but it's affordable AND effective. The trifecta.
How Do You Naturally Exfoliate?
Let's answer the broad question before we continue.
There are a various ways to help exfoliate your skin. One way is to apply a scrub or exfoliating cleanser to your skin. Scrubs are made from ingredients such as sugar, salt, and ground up grains like oatmeal. They can feel rough on the skin as they help get rid of dead skin cells and dirt. After using a small about with gentle circular movements rinse the natural scrub off the skin with warm water.
You can also try using a gentle chemical exfoliant like glycolic acid or alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) in an at-home facial mask. AHAs are becoming more popular as people realize that they can improve their overall complexion by helping to exfoliate and unclog pores. The best part about these products is that they’re easy to use at home and won’t leave you feeling red or irritated when you’re finished.
Finally, you could try using a pumice stone but stick to using it on the hands and feet.
Are Face Scrubs Good For Your Skin?
Making a homemade face scrub is an easy way to add some exfoliation to your beauty routine. Exfoliation can help remove dead skin cells and smooth out any rough patches on your skin.
One of the best things about homemade face scrubs is that they’re cheap and easy to make. You can buy all of the ingredients at your local grocery store, so you don't have to worry about running out of fancy supplies that require ordering ahead of time.
Most homemade face scrubs are made with just three ingredients: sugar, salt, and oil (like coconut or olive oil). This means that they're incredibly simple to make!
If you decide to make a homemade face scrub, be sure to use a gentle formula (like the one we share in this post) that won’t dry out your skin and only use it 2-3 times a week to avoid over-exfoliation. Using a natural face scrub can strip your skin of moisture and lead to dryness, irritation and redness.
Are Homemade Exfoliants Good for Blackheads + Acne-Prone Skin?
Yes! Although this natural face scrub recipe is excellent for all skin types, it is especially good for blackheads and acne prone skin. The natural ingredients help to gently remove blackheads, clogged pores and oily skin. With regular use (no more than 2-3 times a week) you should see an improvement in your breakouts.
There are many different natural oils that you can use to make a homemade face scrub. This recipe uses jojoba but other oils include, coconut oil, almond oil and sweet almond oil.
For natural exfoliants, you can use coffee grounds, brown sugar or sea salt!
Soothing components to add to your homemade face scrub include things like aloe vera gel and honey.
Natural Face Scrub Ingredients for Acne + Blackheads
Now let's look a the ingredients in this face scrub in more detail:
- Oatmeal: soothes irritated skin, oatmeal is full of vitamins, minerals and lipids that hydrate and moisturize. AND oatmeal contains saponins, which has intense cleansing properties, and the fine texture of ground oats offers exfoliating and buffing capabilities that remove dead skin cells and polishes your skin without harsh chemicals or materials that scratch your skin . Oatmeal also soaks up excess oil, which helps treat acne, and if that weren't enough, oatmeal contains zinc, which reduces inflammation and kills acne-causing bacteria.
- Bentonite Clay: This healing clay has been used for centuries as a cure-all for what ails you. But it's particularly amazing for clearing your skin–made from minerals formed from volcanic ash, bentonite clay reduces your skin's oil production, draws out toxins from your skin, unclogging pores and removing dead skin cells in the process, reduces the appearance of scars, softens skin and reduces inflammation. Wow! Pretty impressive, right?
You can buy Redmond Clay on Amazon.
For another awesome DIY beauty recipe using Bentonite Clay, check out our popular DIY Charcoal + Clay Face Mask for Acne and Blackheads!
- Baking Soda: Not only is baking soda a great natural exfoliant, it also cleanses the skin, softening it all the while, and it brightens dull and darkened skin giving you a great glow!
- Jojoba Oil: This soothing oil works well for nearly all skin types and leaves skin hydrated without the heavy shine, as it’s very similar to our skin’s natural oil/sebum production.
- Rose Hip Oil: This ultra-nourishing oil is a must-have for pretty much every skin type! It’s chockfull of vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E, making it perfect for dry or aging skin, as it has been linked to increased collagen production. Rosehip seed oil is also high in retinoic acid, which studies show reduces the appearance of wrinkles and scars and brightens skin. It’s also incredibly healing thanks to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory compounds, so it’s great for refining skin texture and tone.
- Lavender Essential Oil: Not only does it smell so good that you’ll feel instantly relaxed (lavender is proven to lower stress), but it also helps regenerate skin cells so it’s great for aging skin, sun spots and scarring.
How Do You Make Homemade Scrubs at Home?
Making homemade face scrub couldn't be easier. All you need are the six natural ingredients listed above, and a food processor.
Pulse everything together until combined, add to a clean glass jar and voila! You're done. Seriously.
I told you this recipe was easy. But why would you even want to make your own skincare?
Well, sadly, like most store-bought beauty products, tons of known carcinogens, hormone disruptors and skin irritants make up the ingredient lists of most commercial face scrubs.
Toxic Ingredient Found in Popular Face Scrubs
We've outlined the top toxic ingredients found in some of the most popular face scrubs on the market today below:
- Microbeads: A lot of store bought scrubs are made with microbeads or microplastics. Problem is, most wastewater treatment doesn’t filter out microbeads, so they end up in our water where they absorb persistent organic pollutants (long-lasting toxic chemicals like pesticides, flame retardants, motor oil and more) and other industrial chemicals. They're then eated by fish and other marine organisms, which we then eat. Trouble is, they're not labeled as microbeads on skincare products. So instead, if you see polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate or polymethyl methacrylate on the label, run far away.
- Fragrance: Hormone disruptor and among the top five allergens in the world. Learn why you should avoid fragrance as much as possible here.
- Parabens: Mimic estrogen in the body and cause reproductive, hormonal, and developmental disorders with a link to breast cancer.
- PEG-100 Stearate: Has been linked to cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, contamination concerns, irritation, and organ system toxicity.
- Methylisothiazolinone: A preservative known to cause allergic reactions, dermatitis, lung toxicity and neurotoxicity, increasing the risk of seizures and visual abnormalities.
- Sodium Hydroxide: A strong irritant and corrosive to the skin, eyes, respiratory tract and concerns about cancer and neurotoxicity. In fact, it is classified as “expected to be toxic or harmful” and one or more animal studies show brain and nervous system, metabolic, and sense organ effects at very low doses and there are warnings regarding using this ingredient around the eyes or mouth (of course, which is where you're putting face scrub).
**Note: these ingredients can be found in St. Ives Apricot Scrub, Borghese Fango Face Scrub, Clearasil Acne Scrub, Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Foaming Scrub, Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser, Clean & Clear Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub, Proactiv+ Skin Smoothing Exfoliator, Kate Somerville ExfoliKate and GLAMGLOW Treatments
Cost Comparison To Store Bought Exfoliators
Even if you can find some natural face scrubs that aren’t full of toxic chemicals, you’ll likely have to shell out a pretty penny. Drugstore brands usually run at least $10, while higher-quality brands can be upwards of $30 per bottle.
Compare that to this recipe, which costs just $6.36 to make.
- I paid just $11.03 for 32 ounces, but I only used 1.5 ounces = $0.51
- Bentonite Clay:
- I paid just $17.13 for 24 ounces, but I only used 1 ounce = $0.71
- Baking Soda:
- I paid just $6.25 for 16 ounces, but I only used 0.5 ounces = $0.20
- Jojoba Oil
- I paid just $12.95 for 4 ounces, but I only used 1.5 ounces = $4.86
- Rose Hip Oil
- I paid just $24.99 for 4 ounces, but I only used 5 drops = $0.05
- Lavender Essential Oil
- I paid just $14.95 for 4 ounces, but I only used 5 drops = $0.03
Sold! Right?! That's just $0.63 per use!
If you try this Homemade Face Scrub Recipe, be sure to leave a review and rating below. I'd also LOVE to see how it turned out for you–share a photo and tag us @rootandrevel!
P.S. If you really just can't find the time or energy to make this recipe, my favorite store-bought, non-toxic face scrub is Acure Brilliantly Brightening Facial Scrub.
Homemade Face Scrub for All Skin Types (including Acne-Prone, Oily Skin!)
- In a food processor, combine oatmeal, clay and baking soda. Pulse until finely ground.
- Add jojoba oil, rose hip oil and lavender oil. Pulse again until mixed through.
- Transfer scrub to a clean glass jar.
- To use: take a teaspoon and apply to damp face in gentle, circular motions. Rinse and/or use a soft washcloth to wipe off any excess.
- Moisturize as needed.